The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has reiterated the need for traditional rulers in the northern states to support the ongoing campaign on COVID-19 vaccination.
Abubakar made the call on Monday, in Abuja, at the 2021 second quarter review meeting of the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Primary Health Care Delivery (NTLC) .
Represented by the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Muhammad, the sultan said it was crucial to deepen the message on the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccination.
He commended the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDC) for its efforts in the campaign against the spread of the pandemic and in its commitment to fostering stronger ties with the NTLC in the interest of the people.
“As a committee, we shall continue to work assiduously towards mobilising the people to accept the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
“The committee played a very prominent role in the fight against polio, we need to replicate such effort in the task ahead.
“I am encouraged by the roles already being played by some traditional rulers, especially those who presented themselves publicly for vaccination.
“That is a good example and message to the people, and such images can be used to massively mobilise the people to participate in the exercise,” he said.
He said that showcasing the images of traditional rulers taking the vaccine would help to counter the negative massages about the exercise.
In his remarks, Dr Faisal Shuaib Executive Director, NPHCDA, described the NTLC review meeting as 'very important’.
“This meeting has given us the confidence that our programmes are aligned with the people. We appreciate the efforts and commitment of the NTLC in the campaign, to ensure public acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination,” he said.
He called for more proactive efforts towards curbing cases of vaccine hesitancy, saying, “we need to improve community knowledge of the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination”.
According to him, town hall meetings would be held at the zonal, state, local government and ward levels to deepen the COVID-19 vaccination message.
“So far, zonal level town Hall meetings have been successfully conducted in the north central and north eastern zones,” he said.